place / identity

"Find your place, dig in, and defend it." --Gary Snyder

Wade Davis describes the enduring relationship between the tribes of Peru and the land. The Inca did not worship their shrines, which the Spanish could destroy, but the land itself. In their daily life and rituals, they defined their place and proclaimed their sense of belonging. (One River, p.438) 

Oliver Sachs describes how his paralyzed leg had "vanished, taking its place with it...The leg had vanished taking its 'past' away with it. I could no longer remember having a leg." (See Oliver Sachs, A Leg to Stand On, New York, 1984,) 

More and more of us live in what Edward Said has called a "general condition of homelessness," a world where identities are coming to be deterritorialized, or differently territorialized. In a world of diaspora, transnational culture flows, and mass movements of populations, in which familiar lines between "here" and "there", center and periphery, colony and metropole become blurred.

Marc Augé reiterates the requirement of "recognition" as essential to place. "We all need places in which we recognise ourselves and in which others can recognise us as easily as we recognise them." (see: Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity) 

In Bit Cities, William Mitchell describes his e-mail address as both a place in some sense and a configuration of identity. He claims that this double usage reworks the Aristotelian notion of place as belonging.